Tips and Information Regarding the FAFSA and Financial Aid

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FAFSA_logoFiguring out how to pay for college can be stressful, but there are different options available to help you out. One of the most important options is to apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your FAFSA information is delivered to your university — in this case, UW Oshkosh — and a financial aid package is awarded to you based on a number of factors. Your financial aid package may include loans or grants on a federal or state level. The only way you can be considered for this financial aid is by submitting the FAFSA.

Of course, if you’ve never filled out the FAFSA before (or even if you have), it might be a bit confusing. And you might not be 100% sure on dates or other important timeline information. To make sure you’re staying on track and maximizing the potential of your financial aid package, here are some important bits of information to follow along with.

Things to Keep in Mind: 

  1. File your taxes. This needs to be done before you are able to move on to points two and three.
  2. Once your taxes are done, head on over to www.fafsa.ed.gov to fill out your FAFSA. The FAFSA is the main tool that is used to determine how much financial aid you’ll receive. It doesn’t take long and is the most effective way to receive funds.
    *Note: The FAFSA is free, so you should not be paying to file it. If the website is asking for money, please double check your URL to ensure you are on the correct website.
  3. UW Oshkosh has March 15 priority date, which means that if you submit your FAFSA to UW Oshkosh before this date you are considered first for funds that have a limited pool of availability. This is particularly important when it comes to grants. Depending on your information, you may be required to submit additional verification documentation. Keep an eye on your TitanWeb account after submitting your FAFSA to see if you have any To-Do items to complete. (If you have questions regarding your To-Do items, contact Financial Aid at (920) 424-3377.)The March 15 date is not a deadline, but it is in your best interest to file early, especially if you fall into one of the two categories below: Wisconsin Covenant and admitted nonresident students. 

Wisconsin Covenant Students:

If you signed the Wisconsin Covenant when you were in 8th grade, you are eligible for Wisconsin-based grant money dependent on your successful completion of the Wisconsin Covenant pledge. There are a few additional steps that you, as a Wisconsin Covenant Scholar, will need to complete, so pay close attention to the steps below:
  1. Complete FAFSA by April 1 — but March 15, again, is the priority date
  2. Complete Senior Confirmation Process no later than April 1
  3. Make sure to carry out the following requirements:
    • Earn a diploma from a Wisconsin high school.
    • Maintain at least a “B” average in high school.
    • Complete the classes you need to prepare yourself for higher education.
    • Demonstrate good citizenship and participate in your community.

If you are unsure of whether or not you signed the Wisconsin Covenant pledge or have additional questions regarding senior confirmation process / financial aid, contact our Wisconsin Covenant Coordinator, Justin Stigler, at stiglerj@uwosh.edu or by phone at (920) 424-0310.

Admitted Nonresident Students:

It is very important that you submit your FAFSA by the March 15 priority date.  There is a special pool of money available for nonresident students, but it is limited.  Sometimes, you may be asked to complete an extra FAFSA verification step, which I mentioned above under “Things to Keep in Mind.” This should also be completed by March 15, so don’t wait until March 15 to click “submit” on the FAFSA itself. Do that as soon as possible. If you have any questions, you can contact the Financial Aid office at fao@uwosh.edu or  (920) 424-3377, or the UW Oshkosh nonresident admissions counselor, Drew Kopitzke, at kopitzka@uwosh.edu or (920) 424-0827.


Thinking about how to pay for college can be a little overwhelming, but if you know where to look and who to talk to a lot of that stress can be alleviated. Try asking your high school counselor for tips, or you can go to http://www.uwosh.edu/fin_aid/ to look more in depth at the financial aid process. If you want to talk to someone in person, you can always call our financial aid office at (920) 424-3377.

In addition to the FAFSA, you can also submit scholarship applications. We have a bunch available on the UW Oshkosh Admissions website. You can also talk to your high school counselor to see if there are any local or community scholarships you may qualify for in your area. Check into those right away, because some of those deadlines may be coming up soon!

Good luck!

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